Sunday, March 18, 2018

What could be better?

What could be better than spending National Quilting Day at a quilt retreat?

Well, a retreat without unexpected happenings would be good! We went on retreat on Friday and had lunch on the way. Shortly after arriving, a member of our group went to her room to rest because she had extreme stomach pains. Food poisoning? Maybe. Gall bladder problems? Possibly. She didn't want dinner and we thought she was doing better by nightfall. She is the daughter of the mother/daughter team in our group. Early Saturday morning she texted her mom and asked to be taken to the hospital. Before anyone could get out the door, she requested an ambulance. 

It took until about noon to diagnose appendicitis. Surgery began before 4 pm and it's a good thing - the appendix had 3 leaks; it was rupturing. 

We added lots of praying to our usual sewing and visiting and eating. All went well with the surgery and she was dismissed from the hospital Sunday. Another member of our group couldn't join us because of illness - thankfully she was feeling better Sunday. And another member who hasn't been able to join us for a couple of years due to illness was in the hospital. Thankfully she was dismissed this weekend. Yes, there was lots of praying and many prayers were answered.

A few things were finished while others were started.
A finished table topper

A Christmas stocking

A large work in progress

A finish!

A start

Another beginning

And one more beginning
I had a number of finishes because I took 7 projects that were very close to being done.
A disappearing 9-patch
A scrappy rail fence
Flowers and stripes
A double cut layer cake that still needs a border

A jelly roll race for a baby girl

A baby boy quilt

A quilt that I began years ago ended up as a table runner!

And the one project I totally made at the retreat:
A jelly roll race made with leftover batik 2 1/2" strips

It was a great retreat but a greater weekend because our friends are on the mend.

We are looking forward to our next gathering and hope it is uneventful!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Hermione's Everyday Socks

My Hermione's Everyday Socks are done. The pattern is by Erica Lueder. I used Knit Circus Opulence yarn, a Merino-Nylon-Cashmere blend. The yarn, in the color way Pigeon, goes from light blue to a medium blue. 

They have an interesting pattern that is very easy to memorize and knit.

I'm pretty happy with my new socks - maybe I'll wear them at my quilting retreat this weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Little Bows

Little Bows is a donation quilt that I think a girl might like. I saw the free pattern, called Baby Bows, and the block layout looked intriguing to me with the offset triangles. I never did read the pattern - I just wanted to see the measurements for a block. It is really quite simple and would be a great quilt for a beginning quilter to make. It would also make a great signature quilt.

The colors in this 51" square quilt were inspired by some scraps of Kaffe Fassett fabrics that I had. I used Warm and Natural batting because I was out of Dream Cotton and it is what I could get. It's 87.5% cotton and 12.5% polypropylene. It's a good second choice but I prefer Dream Cotton which is 100% cotton, a little thinner, and a little softer.

I used Violet #2520 Aurifil 40-weight thread to quilt this. I free-motion quilted a meandering design with hearts over the entire quilt.

I couldn't find anything in my stash for the backing so I went shopping. I think the piece I found is perfect.

I seem to be pushing to get donation quilts done. I'd like to have at least 15 finished by summer. That way if I don't get much done during the summer, I'll still, hopefully, have a pile to donate at Christmas time. 

I have two quilts waiting for the bindings to be hand-sewn. There are quite a few with pieces cut that I've started piecing. Time to get sewing!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Emerald Isle is finished!

I began this quilt a while ago and finally sandwiched and quilted it. Emerald Isle is a free pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company. I decided to use up some small pieces of batik along with some white cotton and I think it worked out well.
We had beautiful sun coming in the window.
The back uses the left over pieces from the front.

This donation quilt is about 61" square. I used Dream Cotton batting. I used a light pearl gray (Dove) #2600 Aurifil thread for the quilting. I began with 50 weight thread but my replacement spool was 40 weight. How did that happen??? It worked okay for quilting but my Bernina likes the 50 weight better. I think this is the only 40 weight thread in the house. The higher the thread weight, the thinner the thread. I have washed and dried the quilt and all is well.

I free-motioned feathers in the white areas

and used rulers on the batiks including the borders.

I always need more practice with the rulers! Of course free-motion quilting in general requires constant practice.

The feathers at the ends are different than the rest of the quilt.


I have lots more quilting going on. I'm trying to kit a few projects for a retreat coming up. Of course, as soon as I decide on something, I just have to do some sewing on it. I'm also quilting Baby Bows. The quilt is hanging on a rack in  front of a window while I'm quilting it. With the sunlight, you can see the backing through the white areas - interesting! 

I hope to show you this as a finished quilt before long.

Monday, February 19, 2018

My Sewing Room

When our children left home, I took over the upstairs - the entire area became my sewing studio. We live in a Sears house that is a story and a half so the upstairs is not huge; it has two bedrooms and a large dormer. When we bought the house in 1979, that dormer which overlooks the front of the house and the street, became my sewing room.   

A few days ago I showed my cutting/fabric/pressing room. A few of you asked to see more. Since I just cleaned it, I thought this would be the right time for pictures. The other bedroom used to be the layout room but now I have a design wall so that room is our guest room and the place I store finished quilts. Right now it is full of stuff for the upcoming garage sale and a mess - you really don't want to see it!

The dormer room is 6.5 feet by 13 feet and it is still the place I sit and sew. It is large enough that 3 grandchildren have sewn there at the same time. 

When you enter the room and look to the left, there is a desk with my 1949 Singer Featherweight. This is my favorite machine; I love the way it sounds. The bulletin board/design wall gets very full at times I just cleaned it off. The top shelf of the bookcase has all of my quilt journals - almost every quilt I've made is recorded in pictures and notes. 
North end of sewing room
If you look right when entering the room, you'll see a custom made table that holds my Sears Serger and my Husqvarna Quilt Designer. The serger belonged to my sister-in-law and my brother gifted it to me after her death a few years ago. I use it frequently and should probably learn what else it can do. The Husqvarna (Viking) is a great workhorse; it will sew through anything! There are many racks of thread on the wall at the right side of the photo just out of view.
South end of sewing room
If you look straight into the room, you'll see my Bernina 550QE. I use it for some piecing and almost all of my quilting. You can see the black rack that I clip quilts to as I'm quilting to get the weight off of the surface. It is actually a photo backdrop stand. It was snowing the day I took this photo - I love sitting in front of the windows and looking outside while I sew.
East side of sewing room
I took a panoramic shot as I stood in the doorway. You can kind of see how everything fits together - there is enough room but not really any extra. I just move chairs to wherever I need one.
Sewing room
I am fortunate to have always had a dedicated place to sew since we moved here - it was one of the reasons I wanted to buy this house. Way back then we only had one little boy and really didn't know what the future would hold. It never occurred to me that one day I would take over the whole upstairs. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

All day in the sewing studio . . .

All day in the sewing studio is not always as much fun as it sounds. I decided to clean the craft closet in the cutting/fabric room. It's time to clean out everything - we're having a garage sale in May. It will probably take me until May to get all this cleaning done! 

The closets in this room are dormer closets and they hold a lot but really - this much from one closet????

Finally, an empty closet. 

After sorting things out, Ray helped and we got much more in the closet than I took out! It is so nice to once again be able to walk into the closet and find what I want.

The cutting/fabric room survived

 although more cleaning will eventually take place in here.

Interesting that I found some things I forgot I had - a few leader/ender quilts in progress and more. That WIP pile was kind of empty . . .

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Flannel baby quilt is finished and more ...

This donation quilt is flannel on both the front and back; it's very cuddly. It is about 53" square and has Dream Cotton batting.

I used yellow Aurifil thread to piece and quilt this. I used my walking foot to quilt a diamond grid design. The back is yellow with a small white dot.

I am participating in the Free Motion Quilting Challenge with Angela Walters. This is a picture of my quilt for the challenge while I was piecing the top. It's the suggested pattern and goes together pretty fast. We will actually begin quilting next week. The quilt is about 53" by 58" and it is now sandwiched and ready to go!

I have one of the two baby quilts that I can't show you pieced. I took a break to kit a couple of projects for an upcoming retreat. While I was cleaning the sewing rooms the other day, I realized that I had way too many strips of fabric. I thought there was just this basket, but I found there was also a drawer full. After pulling out enough for two quilts, I still have this

and this.

This was my beginning pile for a rail fence quilt. As I sorted more, I did 'reject' a few of these.

I also pulled out batik strips, I think 45 or 46, for a jelly roll race quilt. And I still have so many more...


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